A Word from Jim Boult, Queenstown Lakes District Mayor

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Queenstown Lakes District Council mayor Jim Boult. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Awards acknowledge important role of sport

It was a great pleasure to attend the Central Otago Sports Awards a couple of weeks ago.

Following a laid back affair in 2021, this year the awards were a more formal occasion held at the Lake Wanaka Centre.

I think that given the unsociable Covid conditions endured recently, the athletes, administrators and their supporters all thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to come together and celebrate the wonderful achievements of our local athletes on both the national and international sporting stages. The humility of the winners was a great reflection on the ability of sport to build character and it struck me that despite most achieving international success in a solo sport, all understood that their success was a result of tireless family and community support.

Adam Hall, awarded Para Athlete of the Year for his remarkable achievements in Beijing, was particularly inspiring in his acceptance speech and I’m certain his words will resonate with the younger athletes present for many years to come.

Accepting on behalf of his daughter Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, dad Sean really emphasised the uniqueness of the Wanaka snowsports community, acknowledging the wide-ranging contributions of many that resulted in Zoi becoming New Zealand’s first gold medallist and first to win multiple medals at the Winter Olympics.

Having recently heard submissions from a number of community organisations seeking support from the council’s annual plan, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those behind the scenes, facilitating pathways for sustainable sport and recreation for the community.

There are many in Central Otago sacrificing a great deal of time and resource to ensure our athletes, both young and more mature, have the support they need to succeed in their chosen field.

Sport and recreation is a key component of healthy communities.

It brings people together for a common purpose and provides opportunities to develop relationships, skills and a sense of belonging for everyone from the coaches, administrators, sideline supporters and the athletes themselves.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and to Sport Otago for running the awards.

To the wide-ranging support systems of the athletes, congratulations to you too your contribution is acknowledged and appreciated.